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The Blogfather? Jason Calacanis expands family

Netimperative has an interesting interview with Jason Calacanis whom they label ‘the blogfather’.

‘The term ‘exponential growth’ seems almost an understatement when discussing blogs. But attempts to commercialise this new form remain thin on the ground. New Yorker Jason Calacanis, who has just launched his 62nd commercial blog, tells Alex Tanner how his Weblogs Inc aims to father the number one blog in every niche market there is.’

You couldn’t really find an outlining of Weblogs Inc’s strategy that was much clearer than the way it is laid out in this article….

‘”Clearly there is a weakness, in that any one blog can’t grow into that big a business” he says. “Our response to that weak point is to have 300-500 [blogs] in three years. We should hit 100 in our 4th or 5th quarter as a company, and that’s just fine by me.

“The only threat to us is that somebody comes in and puts all their energy into one blog and does it better. However, if we’re number 1, 2, or 3 in each market we’re in, we have a great business.”‘

Sound like world domination to you? In a sense what they are doing is taking that approach – they recognize that now is an opportune time to establish a foothold in the marketplace and that the window for doing so is closing all the time as new bloggers and competition enter the market every day.

Read more of the interview at Netimperative – The Blogfather? Calacanis expands family

InsideBlogging – The Blog Inside InsideBlogging

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Bloggers Darren Barefoot and Jeremy Wright have joined forces in a blogging consultancy relationship going by the name of ‘Inside Blogging’. Of course all good blog consultants can never have enough blogs so they’ve stared an InsideBlogging Blog to give readers the inside word on their new venture. Should be an interesting read – especially if they keep up their high quality linking policy (I found it because they referred to Problogger).

Another blog goes on the old News Aggregator!

2005 Australian Blogging Conference – more details released

The 2005 Australian Blogging Conference website has updated a few more details of the event to be held in Melbourne on either 18 or 25 February at a venue still to be confirmed.

The cost will be $150 for a full day including lunch and refreshments. Its a bit more than I was expecting but I guess if they are flying in a guest speaker they have some big costs to cover.

The schedule of the day covers the basic topics you’d expect – I was expecting a few electives or workshops to choose between but that is probably a bit optimistic if its just a small crowd coming. I’d of course like to see a session on blogging for dollars with some discussion around models for making money from blogs – but perhaps I’ll have to save up and go to one of the US conferences next year to get that kind of topic.

Still not sure if I’ll be going to the Aussie conference – I think its a good idea but I guess I’ll wait and see if the content/speakers are worth the $150 cost.

Who is Your Blog’s Customer?

I have a business coach who is helping me think through my blogging business. Its actually been very helpful so far even though he has very little experience of blogging. Part of the process has been me teaching him about the medium so that he’s able to help me structure what I do for maximum profit.

Last time we caught up he asked me a question that to this day I’ve not been able to fully answer.

‘Who is your customer?’



If we are to treat blogging as a business this is a question worth pondering. Who is your blog’s customer?

There are a number of ways of answering this question – and it may be that all are partially true….

[Read more...]

BlogTalk Downunder – Another Aussie Blogging Conference

It looks like there will be yet another Aussie Blogging conference in Australia next year – this time in Sydney between 20 – 21 May.

As with the Melbourne conference that we mentioned a few days ago, there are not many details yet but the fact that there are two groups talking about such an event is promising for bloggers downunder. My only wonder is if they should combine their efforts and put on a bigger and better conference together.

I hope to get to both events.

Learn more at Learning Technologies: BlogTalk Downunder

MSN get on the Blogging Express – or have they missed it?

Paid Content has a good Round-up of MSNs launch into Blogging. Maybe I’m just overly tired after a big week at conferences but I’m over all the writing about it. I’m not sure how much impact MSN will have upon blogging – at least in the short term.

2005 Australian Blogging Conference

Just found a site for the 2005 Australian Blogging Conference. Not much in the way of details of a time and place yet – except to say that it will be in Melbourne sometime in February 2005. Suits me fine as that is my home city and apart from two days February is looking very empty in my diary so far!

I’ll be interested to see how it all unfolds in terms of content, turn out and its success.

Monetizing Blogs

In stark contrast to the last post, Jasen Dowdell at marketing shift predicts that Bloggers will start to get more and more attention from Ad agencies. He predicts:

‘- Ad agencies will seek out A-List bloggers who have strong relationships with other A-List bloggers to head up their blog placement departments.

- Someone will step up and create a blog taxonomy that shows the key players in specific blog verticals. This will identify the “people to know” if you want to succeed with your blog pr campaign.

- Large PR Firms and Ad Agencies will spin off subsidiaries dedicated to blogs to increase their relationship with bloggers and appear to be experts in blog product placement and blog pr.

- Blogs will continue to increase their focus on specific areas whether these are niche verticals or niche subject areas.’



Read more of this interesting (and hopeful) article at Monetizing Blogs

No Money in Blogging?

Steve Smith from EContent writes that there will be no dollars in blogging in 2005 for bloggers or networks (like Gawker and Weblogs Inc) who are directly blogging. He writes:

‘The wild and wooly blogosphere itself will not make money for many, including blog networks like Gawker Media and Weblogs Inc. Nevertheless, blogs are already proving to be powerful audience retention devices for known media brands. Some B2B sites report that up to 10% of daily traffic now goes to columnist blogs. Blogging is less a business model than a thoroughly compelling communications model that keeps users coming back two and three times a day more effectively than standard content refreshes. Accept it and get sponsors for it.’

This is the second such article I’ve seen arguing this this week (the first was here).

Once again I wonder if Steve is perhaps being a little short sighted with this statement. I acknowledge he says this approach will not make money for many – leaving things open for a select few to make money blogging – but I would argue that quite a few have already stumbled upon formulas for making money directly from blogging and that 2005 will see the number of those making a living directly from the medium explode – likewise I predict that we’ll see those already taking this approach start to earn some very big money. In fact I think 2005 will see a number of bloggers earning $1 million and over. If they’re smart they will probably keep these figures to themselves – but it will happen – if not next year it will happen in 2006 for sure.

As I talk to pro-bloggers and reflect upon my own experience in two short years I’ve noticed that the trend is a for a very slow start to levels of earnings – but that there comes a tipping point where the growth becomes exponential. Most bloggers exploring the income side of blogging give up before the tipping point however and never see the reward for their efforts. Of course it is not just a matter of time and patience – it takes some smarts, hard work and a little luck along the way.

Update: Steve Rubel spotted this same article and has a few things to say on the topic also. I particularly agree with his observation about the lack of overheads for bloggers. My biggest overhead is my own time. The opportunity cost of me putting my time into another job or business is significant because I choose to blog virtually full time – however apart from this I have virtually no expenses apart from a small ISP, hostings, design and home office costs.

Update: Wayne at Blog Business World has also entered the discussion and writes – ‘As blogs become more deeply entrenched, within both the mainstream media and the mainstream consciousness, money will flow naturally in their direction. If other companies discover the power of blogs, as an advertising vehicle that returns highly targeted buyers, you can be absolutely certain that savvy marketers will put their cash into blogs.’